Friday, April 29, 2016

A Rainbow, Ships And Solar Impulse 2

We enjoyed a rather interesting rainbow yesterday, and I thought you might enjoying seeing it.  Also, a strange ship arrived two days ago, and we found out she'll be sticking around awhile.  I've included some photos of a couple other vessels and one of the Solar Impulse 2, arriving at California.

This odd sight caught our eyes yesterday morning.  We couldn't recall seeing such a strong and short segment of a rainbow before.  But, then...

As additional rain fell the rainbow continued to grow until we could see a full arc.  It made our morning!

A few days prior, we watched the MS Noordam, a Holland Cruise Lines ship, maneuver away from Pier-10 without the help of any tugboats.  Azipod propulsion units enable the giant ship to delicately ease her way into, and out of very tight spaces.  It's still amazing to watch such a large vessel do this.

Click on this photo to have a closer look at all the MS Noordam passengers gathered on the stern top deck to view the sunset as they depart for other exotic ports of call.  Hope they all enjoyed their time in Honolulu.

Noah's Ark comes to town!  I believe a skilled loadmaster (with a decent computer) could put just about two of every animal on the planet aboard this ship.
On April 26th, the gigantic Canopus Leader car carrier made a port call.  Click on the photo to get a closer look at the crewmen in the orange coveralls standing at the opening below the ship's name.  I have no idea how many automobiles this vessel can carry, but it must be A LOT.

I zoomed in a bit for this photo.  In my navy days, we always referred to the bow of a ship as "the pointy end".  With this vessel, there really isn't one.

A truly curious looking ship arrived in our fair harbor on April 27 and we've never seen anything like it.  It was only after using binoculars to try to read the name that we had a clue.  In fact, I couldn't quite make out the name, but was able to see "U.S. Army".  That suggested U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and on the evening news we learned it's here to dredge the harbor.  That hasn't been done for many years apparently and it's time.

We've never seen a ship so completely packed with machinery and equipment.  It was so full of stuff, it almost looked over-loaded and downright unstable.  I imagine when the dredging is underway, much of that mud, sand and silt sucking gear is on the harbor bottom.  We're looking forward to watching the process.  Stand-by for photos!

By now, the entire world should be familiar with the Solar Impulse 2, and her incredible round-the-world flight on solar power alone.  Not a single drop of fossil fuel will be consumed.  She departed O'ahu not long ago, and arrived at Mountain View, California, two-and-a-half days later, thanks in-part, to strong tail winds.  Click on the link to see some truly magnificent photos of this remarkable aircraft flying above the Golden Gate Bridge and other famous norther California sights.  What a great story!!!!!  This photo is courtesy of Hawaii News Now, a local television news program.

That's it for now.  The painting continues, and today I gave Halen his portrait finally, with the caveat that he can live with it for awhile, but must return it for signing and any changes he'd like to see.  I have a feeling he's wise to my habits and I'll never see it again.  That's okay, I guess.  He's waited a very long time for it to be done and was exceptionally understanding of my quirks.  What quirks!

Hope you all have a nice weekend!  Tomorrow is another "Aloha Friday" here!   

Friday, April 22, 2016

A Beautiful Saturday-Part 2

Time to share the remainder of the sights seen Saturday, can you say, "onomatopoeia"?  And here's another word which may apply to this post--"non-sequitur".  I've got some additional things to share which have nothing to do with my travel-jog.

I'll start out with more of the great street art in Kaka'ako.  Not quite sure what this is about, but it's a pretty nice portrait.

Unfortunately, this building had a bunch of parked cars, making it difficult to see and understand the theme.  The painting featured moon phases, an eclipse, hands and Hawaiian words all along the  wall.  I can tell you those large leaves are kalo, as the taro plant is called here.  For those of you who may be unfamiliar with kalo...the corms (underground roots) are pounded to make poi.

Again, not certain if there was something here, or just the colorful pattern.  Kinda reminded me of something Chuck Close might do, but where's his face?  The artist must've run out of wall.

Nice!  I'll show this work in three photos, since I couldn't get far enough away to get it all in a single shot.

This is the center section.

The final piece.  It's amazing what these talented artists did.

A flight of fantasy.

Click to try to figure this one out.

A yellow bird dropping a lei-wrapped bomb?  There's more...

I hope it's filled with flowers instead of high explosive.

The final painting to make the cut.  Can't wait to see what they'll do next year!!

Here is one of the oddities mentioned:  We watch a lot of Japanese programming on the NHK channel and this "square sun" was featured in a documentary about an area of Hokkaido.  In winter, lots of photographers gather on the Shiretoko peninsula to try to capture this rare atmospheric event at sunset.  This was taken from that documentary.  Who knew?!  We'll stick with the "green flash"!

Another "non-sequitur" item.  This is an image taken from a local TV station's, "Hawaii News Now".  It shows the Solar Impulse 2 taking off from O'ahu very early this morning.  After arriving here last July, after flying non-stop for five days and nights from Japan, seems the aircraft's batteries were overheated and the team took a long break to get them repaired.  Anyway, the huge, but light plane is back in the air heading east toward the west coast of the U.S..  This amazing piece of technology has already set many records on the around-the-world voyage and there will be more to come with each leg of the trip.

Now, we're back in the Hawaii State Art Museum!  This photo shows a most interesting self-portrait done by Dennis Rowen in 1998.  It's an etching and photo gravure, but the ghost image is guess who.  The reflective glass got me.

Here's the story on this strange self-portrait.  Click on the card to enlarge the print.

A beautiful seascape by Lionel Walden.  Read his story below.

Mr. Walden's story.  The museum had several of his paintings to enjoy.

I love this acrylic abstract by James T. Kuroda.  It's called "Momotaro".

I think this was titled, "Rainbow Falls", but don't remember the artist's name.  It's quite large and quite striking.  I've never seen a waterfall or rainbows depicted with such imagination and energy.

A truly unique sculpture made from, among other things, beeswax!  The story of the artist follows:

What an amazing way to create art.  Let bees do the work!

This one-of-a-kind teapot appears to have been decorated with fish skin and fins!  I wonder if the tea would taste fishy? :)

A large portrait of Edith Kanaka'ole by Willson Stamper.  Her story is next:

Quite an accomplished educator.

This eye-catching painting was created by Louis Pohl.

He did a beautiful job of interpreting the power of a volcano.

This is one of mine, certainly not in the museum!  It's Mr. Don Robbins, a neighbor and friend of ours when we lived in our first urban apartment in Portland, Oregon, way back in 2004.  I asked him if he would allow me to do his portrait and he said, "Yes".  The camera loved him and this was our choice for the painting.  I chose to share this because Don and his partner, Adrian, are anticipating a move to the islands in the future and he told me to keep the painting until they arrive.  It's a small (10x8-inches) oil on canvas.  He kind of reminded me of a Roman Centurion!

That's it folks!  Thanks for stopping by.

Monday, April 18, 2016

A Beautiful Saturday-Part 1

It was indeed.  With a couple of cruise ships in, I decided to do my jogging a bit earlier than usual and take the camera for one of my "travel-jogs".  I took so many photos I'm making two posts from the run.  C'mon along.

Thought I'd also share some photos of the magical sky during the sunset yesterday.

The actual sunset wasn't anything special, but as the fiery orb dropped behind the west O'ahu Waianae Range, it did a spectacular job of painting the wispy clouds to the south.

See what I mean.  It looked like a bunch of really large silkworms decided to decorate the sky.  As always, click on any of the photos for a closer view.

A little later, the "silk" turned pink.

Michele enjoys the view.  Hope you did, too.  Let's move on to Saturday.

Only a half-mile away, my first stop was at Aloha Tower to have a look at the Celebrity Millennium.  She's beautiful and features all the "bells-and-whistles" you'd expect on a state-of-the-art cruise ship.

The ship was backed-into the berth and this was our view.  We enjoyed our breakfast on the lanai watching passengers enjoying their breakfast watching us watching them.  Is that clear?

Passengers enjoying their first morning in Honolulu.  Who knew Celebrity Cruises provides those nice terrycloth robes!

It's an obvious cliche, ("X" marks the spot) but true in this case.  I'm not sure if that's why  Celebrity Cruise Lines uses it.

Across the harbor at Pier-2, Pride of America was making her routine Saturday port call.

Another shot of the Pride of America.

As I arrived to see the Millennium, the Star of Honolulu was just returning from a brunch cruise.  It seems the whales finally became hungry enough to begin their journey north, so no more dedicated whale watching tours until late autumn.  Our last sighting was on April 5th.  :(

One of the reasons for this travel-jog.  A year or two ago, I posted photos of the work of street artists in Kaka'ako, a retail/commercial business area along Ala Moana Boulevard.  I can't remember if this is an annual or bi-annual event, but they have created some truly impressive paintings and I wanted to share some of them with you this year.

This wall belongs to an auto dealership and it's part of a long building.  It also happens to be covered by this stunning production with a Japanese theme.

The night time shadows and glowing lights in the windows are simply amazing to see.

See what I mean!  They really put a lot of thought and planning into this spectacular work of art.

If I may illustrate:  Notice how they turned the exhaust fan into part of that building.

The car does a nice job of providing scale to the building.  Notice the downspout "transformed" into a street lamp!

They did a superb job of using this large doorway in the composition.

See what I mean about the building being long.  Almost to the end.

On and on it goes.

Entering the fantasy realm now.

Getting there.

Almost at the end.

The end.  But, wait!  There's more!

Nice, eh!

This is it for Part-1.  More to come in Part-2.  Time to get back to the jog...

The Howard Hughes Corporation is renovating the area around Kewalo Basin and this model of a huge Blue Marlin was saved to forever swim here.  Several Mahi-Mahi, Ono and tuna models will also remain.  Nice of them to save these icons from earlier times.

One of the most interesting of the flock of new buildings going up in Kaka'ako just now.  The dramatic curve is something rare today.  Most are just rectangular and quite boring.  This condo tower will be home to a Whole Foods market, in addition to other ground floor businesses.  If you click on the link, you can see some of the unique island offerings at their store on Wai'alae Avenue.

The plumeria are in bloom and I thought a photo of this most fragrant flower couldn't hurt. :)

A red hibiscus.

My last stop was the Hawaii State Art Museum.  I was the only person in the place Saturday afternoon, so the jogging attire was okay.  This is a painting by Caleb O'Connor called, "The Leap".  He painted this large work in 2006.  It's five or six feet by three or four feet and quite striking. 

His skin tones were completely alive and I have no doubt many viewers sneak a touch to see if the flesh is warm.  The computer doesn't do justice to them.

The woman's hand seems to come out of the canvas.  Very impressive.

This piece really resonated with me, and when you read the label you'll know why.

Who'da thunk!  By the way, if any of you plan to be free on September 5th, and would like to join me in this year's Waikiki Roughwater Swim, just click on the link to sign-up.  You have until May 15th to get the best deal at only fifty bucks, then it gets progressively more expensive.  We went to the beach last week and I swam 1.5-miles in an hour and thirty-five minutes.  It's a start in working my way to swimming the race distance several times prior to the actual event.

How 'bout a rainbow to end Part-1.  Stay tuned for more street and museum artworks and who knows what else. :)